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Disable or Enable Windows Automatic updates from command line

We can disable Windows automatic updates from command line using the below command.

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

I tested this on Windows XP, Windows server 2003 and Windows 7 and it works perfectly. After running the above command you can also see a balloon popping up near the system tray with the message “Your computer might be at risk… Automatic updates is turned off……“.

Note that this will not work if domain group policy is enforced and users are prohibited to change the settings. In Widows 7, we can find out if a GP is enforced or not by opening windows update window. Go to settings and see if the options are greyed out for ‘Important updates’. If so, then it’s controlled by administrator/domain policy and can’t be edited. In XP, same can be checked on ‘Automatic updates’ tab in Computer properties(sysdm.cpl).

To enable automatic updates we need to set the registry value to 0. Command is given below.

 reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

If you want to download updates but not install till the user acts on it then you can set the registy value to 3.

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f

If you want to disable Automatic updates service then run the below command.

 sc config wuauserv start= disabled

IF you want to stop Automatic updates service then run the below command.

net stop wuauserv

Command for starting automatic updates service:

net start wuauserv

Command for enabling the service:

sc config wuauserv start= auto

Errors

In Vista/Windows 7, the above commands should be run from elevated administrator command prompt. Otherwise you would get the following error.

c:\>reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
ERROR: Access is denied.

Related Posts:
Enabling/disabling automatic updates in Windows: Q & A

25 comments… add one
  • Salim

    Thanks for the tip.. I tried this on Windows 7 and it worked perfectly. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    thanks mate. one question, does this command only disable? or does it enable and disable?

    • sonic8608

      I believe if you do “net start wuauserv”. The windows update will start to work

      to disable you type in “net stop wuauserv” in the command promt.

  • Techblogger

    It can be used to enable also. The command would vary slightly.. just replace 1 with 0. Please see the command below after making this change..

    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

  • Anonymous

    Thanks i tested that with Vista it worked for that too .
    In my windows update page was having error i did nt have any way other than to disable or enable automatic updates through command prompt.

    Best Regards

    Kanwal

  • Anonymous

    and 3 means Download udates but do not install

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!! Saved me from infinite looping on Vista Ultimate with automatic updates.

  • Techblogger

    Glad that the tip helped you..keep visiting the blog for many more tips..thank you..

  • Anonymous

    How to check if windows automatic update is on?

    • James

      Get the registry value using ‘reg query’ command. you can know the updates on/off status based on the registry value

  • James

    Thank you for pointing out the relevant registry keys and how to modify them, the information was most helpful.

  • Chioko Charles

    The Access Denied message comes if you don’t run command using Administrator privileges, the command works perfectly..you can as well use the GUI..it works perfectly

  • RVD

    It works very perfectly.

  • shango

    Sweet. This worked perfectly and all on a remote machine in another country…. I just fell in love with psexec again…

  • AoIro

    I LOVE YOU.

    Tested on Windows 8, works perfectly, went over a nasty virus that destroyed my admin access for many things such as Windows Update (can’t be eliminated without formatting the computer and I can’t afford to lose my programs).

  • OUTraged

    Does nothing. According to the windows update page on control panel it says its still on auto update. And I can’t turn it off from there thats why I wanted a alternative like this.

  • yeah

    sounds like id-10-t error ….

  • VIRUS

    I have tested this on Windows 10 Technical Preview and it can disable and stop the windows update service – will not issue

    in this one the options are locked and the update have to be on all the time.

    The last update keeps going to error: DPC Watchdog Violation and meant i had to keep rolling back my Laptop for it to work

    Now i have no issue as the upated are fully disable and not running any more lol

    If you use this on Windows 10 Tech Preview: Run CMD in Admin for it to work…

  • Erik

    I’m looking at Windows 7 and 10 and the value for automatic install of updates is 4, not zero. Zero is disabled. I’ve tested this myself by manually changing the setting and looking at the change in the registry.

  • Shane

    Wondering if there is a way to have it NOT download and install IE 11. We have a client that runs software that is not compatible with that. They have close to 500 machines and for some reason their Corporate IT lets them slide on doing updates and rebooting. Ive got around 300 of those machines that need updates ran and this makes it much more time effective than calling each user and remoting into their machine.

  • Djoko

    This worked perfectly. Thank you.

  • Daniyal Ehson Awan

    Dude, This Rocks in BLOCKING WINDOWS 10 Windows Update

  • walid

    sc config wuauserv start= disabled (with admin auth) not work in win 7 pro!

  • JC

    this failed to work after i entered the respecive commands and restarted my computer, and then did it again. though i am running from an Elevated CMD, + i am an administrator.
    what should i do?

  • shivendra singh

    i tried running this command on windows server 2K12, command run successfully,

    but i went like regedit in run and then to open Local Group Policy Editor, the location is Computer configuration, policies, Administrative templates, Windows Components, Windows Update.

    there it is still sowing old status like “not configured”
    it needs to be reflected in windows update also.

    Please Help, is anyone face the same issue.

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